California citrus trees are starting to produce a much faster rate of fruit than they did a decade ago.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection announced on Tuesday that its trees are producing more fruit per hectare now than they have in the past two decades.
The department said that, since the beginning of the year, more than 2,100 trees in the Los Angeles region had harvested more than 100 kilograms of citrus.
In Orange County, the figure is about 1,500 kilograms.
“It’s a tremendous milestone for the citrus industry, especially for the Los Angelenos who are in the early stages of their citrus boom,” said Kevin Anderson, the state’s citrus coordinator.
“We’re working with our citrus industry partners and industry partners to identify how we can support a strong economy and sustainably harvest citrus that we need to sell to the marketplace.”
In fact, Orange County is expected to grow the largest citrus crop in the United States this year.
The county’s citrus growers, including growers in the Orange County region and in the surrounding Central Valley, have been trying to find ways to increase production to meet the demand.
“We’re still in a period of transition, but we are on the verge of an exciting new phase,” said Greg Fournier, Orange county’s executive director of the Orange Fruit Association.
“With the growth of the industry, the citrus is now being grown in a way that is sustainable.”
The state’s Department of Public Works, which manages the county’s forests, is also promoting the development of new technologies for the industry.
Last month, the agency announced it is partnering with UC Davis to develop the first citrus fruit storage systems.